Tshwane suspends Guptagate cops with pay

2013-05-10 13:18

The Tshwane metro has suspended eight police officers for allegedly escorting and providing unofficial security to Gupta wedding guests from Air Force Base Waterkloof to Sun City.

The officers would receive their suspension letters today, said executive director Console Tleane.

“The members will have their firearms and appointment certificates confiscated,” he said.

The municipality initially found that nine officers had been involved in the escort, which formed part of the scandal dubbed “Guptagate”.

Tleane said one of those officers had not been served with a notice to suspend because he was in hospital.

“It was our considered view that it would not be prudent, nor humane to serve a person with a letter of notice to suspend him while he is in hospital,” said Tleane.

The eight received their notices to suspend on Tuesday, giving them 48 hours to inform the municipality why they should not be suspended. None of the officers made a presentation to the municipality on the matter.

The officers were suspended with pay. Formal charges will be bought against the eight on Friday, said Tleane.

He said it has since emerged that two other officers, apart from the nine, were also involved in the controversial escort and security services to the wedding guests.

“This brings the number to eleven. The two will be served with letters of intention to suspend them today (Friday). They may be suspended if they fail to provide the department with reasons why they should not be suspended,” said Tleane.

The officers allegedly fitted blue lights and false number plates to their private vehicles to escort guests to the Gupta family wedding in Sun City, North West.

A senior police officer, three air force officers, and the chief of state protocol were suspended for their alleged part in the unauthorised landing of a jet chartered by the Gupta family at the military base.

Some of the officers allegedly carried their service weapons while performing private duties, in contravention of the Firearms Control Act.

The jet chartered by the Gupta family made an unauthorised landing at Waterkloof – a national key point – last Tuesday.

It was carrying guests to the wedding of Vega Gupta to Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia.

The Guptas own The New Age newspaper and Sahara Computers.

The jet was moved off the base last Thursday, amid widespread criticism.

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